Kaine says he has 51 votes for Iran war powers resolution

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: White House threatens to veto House Iran bills | Dems 'frustrated' after Iran briefing | Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision White House Correspondents' Association blasts State for 'punitive action' against NPR Senate Democrat demands State Department reinstate NPR reporter on Pompeo trip MORE (D-Va.) on Tuesday said he has majority support for his resolution aimed at reining in President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE’s war powers against Iran after making changes to win Republican votes.

“I’ve got 51 declared votes on version two,” Kaine told reporters, adding there are “more considering getting on board.”

Republican Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump allies throw jabs at Bolton over book's claims Overnight Defense: White House threatens to veto House Iran bills | Dems 'frustrated' after Iran briefing | Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision Foreign Relations Democrats 'deeply frustrated' after Iran briefing MORE (Ky.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe self-fulfilling Iran prophecy No patriotic poll bump for Trump, but Soleimani strike may still help him politically Senators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it MORE (Utah) previously announced support for Kaine’s resolution. Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungRestlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on Impeachment trial forces senators to scrap fundraisers Iran resolution supporters fear impeachment will put it on back burner MORE (R-Ind.) also said Tuesday he supported the amended version of Kaine’s measure.

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Kaine said the fourth Republican vote would come from Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP confident of win on witnesses Republicans signal renewed confidence they'll avoid witness fight Trump's team rests, calls for quick end to trial MORE (R-Maine). With every Democrat expected to support the measure, four Republican votes give it the simple majority needed to pass.

In a procedural hurdle, though, Young said he wouldn’t vote for a motion to proceed on Kaine’s original resolution — which Kaine can force a vote on this week and then could have amended on the floor to the second version.

But Kaine said he is not likely to force a vote on the original resolution.

“I’m not likely to force a vote on Kaine one because I’ve got the votes on Kaine two and not on Kaine one,” he said. “And I do think there’s something virtuous about bringing up the bipartisan version.”

That means Kaine will have to wait to force the vote until the second version ripens, which is 10 days after he introduced it last Thursday. That means Jan. 21 is the earliest Democrats can force a vote on the measure.

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That’s the same day the Senate is expected to begin its impeachment trial of Trump. Kaine said it was possible there will be an agreement to consider the resolution before then, but also said he expects to be able to conduct the trial and consider the war powers resolution simultaneously.

“It’s widely understood that we will be doing other stuff during impeachment,” Kaine said. “The nice thing is [Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell [R-Ky.] and [Sen. John] Cornyn [R-Texas] and [Senate Minority Leader Charles] Schumer [D-N.Y.] have also said we’re going to be taking up the Kaine war powers resolution soon.”

Kaine’s changes include removing two paragraphs in the "findings" section that directly mention Trump over concerns from Republicans and some Democrats that it was too political.

Kaine has also said he was working in some of the language from a House-passed war powers resolution into his, specifically changing his wording about removing troops to the lower chamber's use of “termination of the use of U.S. armed forces” in hostilities against Iran after some colleagues raised concerns that “removing” suggested a pullback of U.S. troops from the region.